For the first time, NC State is participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative that encourages people all around the world to get involved in entrepreneurial ideas, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. 

The global initiative began in 2008 and has rapidly grown to include 25,000 events held in 160 different countries on six different continents. NC State will host more than 10 of these events. 

“This is the first year NC State is a participating campus in the global event,” said Elizabeth Benefield, director of the NC State Social Entrepreneurship Initiative. “This is hugely exciting, and I believe a reflection of the increasing interest in social entrepreneurship on our campus.”

One of the key events of the week was the Social Entrepreneurship Student Summit, hosted Wednesday by the Caldwell Fellows. The event, held in Hunt Library, launched NC State’s first student organization solely dedicated to bringing passionate students together with the goal of making a better campus environment and a better world. 

“The purpose of the Summit is to bring together like-minded individuals to create a new social-innovation culture on campus while energizing a student organization where all students can participate,” said Ashley Rabuck, a sophomore studying psychology and a Caldwell Fellow.

After the summit, Kathryn Hall-Trujillo led a conversation discussing how students and workers can find their passions and purposes.

Hall-Trujillo is the founder of Birthing Project USA, the only national African-American program that seeks to improve maternal and child healthcare. She is also an adjunct professor in the department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University. 

“Kathryn Hall-Trujillo is a prime example of social innovation and using her passion to purposefully make a difference in the lives around her,” Rabuck said. 

Other events throughout the week included the Innovation Hall Breakfast, which also featured Hall-Trujillo and an “Ask the Professor” meal at the East Village Grill on Hillsborough Street. Events continue through Friday and can be found on NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative webpage. 

Although this is NC State’s first year being involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week, Benefield said she sees great potential to make strong contributions to the entrepreneurial world.

“NC State has the potential to become a significant campus participant in [Global Entrepreneurship Week] in the coming years,” Benefield said.